shutterstock_223121407If you have ever had a conversation with our compassionate lawyers at our Mesa personal injury law firm, you can quickly recall how supportive and informative they were as you worked through the emotions following your serious car accident. What many do not realize, however, is how emotions can also be a factor in causing devastating auto accidents. Stress, fatigue, worry, anger or other distress directly impact an individual’s driving ability and can impair their judgment.

More often than not, drivers overwrought with emotion tend to do the following:

  • Risky lane changes
  • Drifting in lanes
  • Driving on highway shoulders
  • Forgetting to signal any lane changes or turns
  • Sudden slamming on brakes
  • Reckless speeding

Take consideration of the following rules should you find yourself in an emotional state the next time you’re driving.

Anger is an emotion that often results in retaliation, disappointment or rash decisions. Regardless of whatever caused you to become angry before driving, try relaxation techniques before operating a vehicle that could cause yourself and others bodily harm. We recommend taking some deep breaths or even taking a short walk before you take off driving.

shutterstock_181335614If someone else’s driving irritates you to the point that it affects how you normally drive, take the time to pull off the road to cool off before proceeding.

Worry or depression is another powerful emotion that can distract drivers. Often if someone is dealing with either of these, they end up deep in thought, replaying events in their mind instead of actively focusing on the road. In a way of speaking, it’s like a daydream while driving, which is very dangerous and can make you unaware of any sudden slowing or other traffic conditions that are potential grounds for an auto accident.

If you find yourself worrying or slipping into a deep thought while driving, pull the car over until you feel able to drive without distraction. Some may argue that music while driving helps, but we see it as driving distraction too. While music can help realign your psyche, finding the right type of music that’ll help you focus on driving in the first place is also a distraction.

Procrastination is an enemy of many, and that often results in rushed or impatient drivers. Make a rule to start leaving early from this point on to help avoid any hurried driving that could result in speeding and reckless driving.

If you are in a hurry to get someplace, it’s best to remain focused and aware of all driving hazards on the road, control your speed and signal appropriately. Being more cautious can actually save you more time in the long-run relative to rushing and getting stuck in an unfortunate situation, such as being pulled over or getting into a vehicle accident of your own.

Here at Skousen, Gulbrandsen & Patience, PLC, we deal with many after-effects of serious auto accidents caused by distracted drivers. We just want you to be aware that emotional driving is distracted driving. We hope that you will be more cautious and aware when your driving ability is affected. If you need to seek an injury claim for someone else’s negligent actions, come get a FREE initial consultation with us.